Thermal Activist Ski Resort
The main theme of the project speaks to corporate social/environmental injustice and how architects can use their position to design for the 1% in a way that is confrontational to the user. Specifically, this project is to be confrontational about the unseen damages of corporate leisure. This is achieved through designing nuances that slightly alter experiences that one would expect when partaking in corporate leisure, in this instance the activities of ski leisure. The guiding event that was researched to understand the forms of damage was the arsonist attacks of 1998 on the Vail ski resort. The Earth Liberation Front carried out these attacks as a protest of the expansion of the ski resort into an endangered species territory. The forms of damage that were exposed through this project were environmental damage as done by the resort but the environmental consequences of arson that ELF contributed to. By using the languages of arson (heat, the visual properties of smoke, and the planned trail taken by the arsonist) these interventions create a thermal experience that is integrated into the traditional languages of ski leisure. Geothermal energy processing was used for the reason that the necessary scale makes a significant impact on the experience of the building. It also confronts the user with the acknowledgment of climate change, an issue that corporate leisure contributes to significantly. The process also generates a significant amount of heat and steam which are used as an organizational strategy and a way to alter the typical experiences of ski leisure and become a visual alteration to the landscape and to the experiences of the skier.